The Big Rip-Off
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987 Cartoon) episode
Title screen
Season Code: 03
Episode: 45
Original airdate November 24, 1989
Written by Michael Reaves
Supervising Producer Fred Wolf
Producers: Walt Kubiak
Supervising Director  Bill Wolf
Episode chronology
← Previous Next →
"Bye, Bye, Fly" "The Big Break-In"
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1989 Season
October 19, 1989 - December 22, 1989
List of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episodes


  1. "Beneath These Streets"
  2. "Turtles on Trial"
  3. "Attack of the 50-Foot Irma"
  4. "The Maltese Hamster"
  5. "Sky Turtles"
  6. "The Old Switcheroo"
  7. "Burne's Blues"
  8. "The Fifth Turtle"
  9. "Enter the Rat King"
  10. "Turtles at the Earth's Core"
  11. "April Fool"
  12. "Attack of Big MACC"
  13. "The Ninja Sword of Nowhere"
  14. "20,000 Leaks Under the City"
  15. "Take Me to Your Leader"
  16. "Four Musketurtles"
  17. "Turtles, Turtles Everywhere"
  18. "Cowabunga Shredhead"
  19. "Invasion of the Turtle Snatchers"
  20. "Camera Bugged"
  21. "Green With Jealousy"
  22. "Return of the Fly"
  23. "Casey Jones - Outlaw Hero"
  24. "Mutagen Monster"
  25. "Corporate Raiders from Dimension X"
  26. "Pizza by the Shred"
  27. "Super Bebop & Mighty Rocksteady"
  28. "Beware the Lotus"
  29. "Blast from the Past"
  30. "Leatherhead: Terror of the Swamp"
  31. "Michelangelo's Birthday"
  32. "Usagi Yojimbo"
  33. "Case of the Hot Kimono"
  34. "Usagi Come Home"
  35. "The Making of Metalhead"
  36. "Leatherhead Meets the Rat King"
  37. "The Turtle Terminator"
  38. "The Great Boldini"
  39. "The Missing Map"
  40. "The Gang's All Here"
  41. "The Grybyx"
  42. "Mister Ogg Goes to Town"
  43. "Shredderville"
  44. "Bye, Bye, Fly"
  45. "The Big Rip-Off"
  46. "The Big Break-In"
  47. "The Big Blow Out"

1987 Season1988 Season1989 Season1990 Season - 1991 Season1992 Season1992-1993 Vacation in Europe sideseason1993 Season1994 Season1995 Season1996 Season

The Big Rip-Off is a season 3 episode of the 1987-1996 series. It is the first episode of the "Big Trilogy".


Bebop and Rocksteady's transport module surfaces in front of an energy plant, where they're immediately attacked by the Turtles. It turns out that the thugs have been raiding every power plant in the city, because the Technodrome has completely run out of energy and is teetering over a lake of lava. Even the lights have gone out.

April does her newest news story at Fort Charles, a military base which is being run by a supercomputer. It also has the only trilithium crystal on Earth, which Shredder believes could potentially be the key to re-powering the Technodrome. His idea is that he can distract them with the trilithium, and get the energy they need elsewhere.

Shredder uses the little power they have to reprogram the supercomputer CY-CLOMPS, using the security robots to remove all humans in Fort Charles. One of them picks up April and throws her into the vault with the trilithium crystal; since it's airtight, she has only an hour before she suffocates.

The Turtles immediately set out for Fort Charles, where the army has declared war on its own installation. They manage to get inside, but immediately run afoul of the security measures - cameras, murderous robots, electrical barriers, and so on.

Meanwhile, Rocksteady and Bebop are dispatched to get energy sources for the Technodrome from the missile plant, which they do easily since the Turtles are busy elsewhere.

The Turtles break mirrors out of the restrooms and use them to reflect the lasers of the killer drones back at them. To avoid being attacked by more robots, they don the outer armor of the drones. This allows them to get close to CY-CLOMPS, and Donatello successfully shuts it down. They open the vault and find April still alive inside.

Krang concludes that Rocksteady and Bebop will fail because the Turtles are now free to stop them, and demands Shredder retrieve the trilithium crystal. Michelangelo threatens to blow up the crystal, and the Turtles start throwing it around, which threatens to destabilize it. They toss it onto the back of the Transport Module just as Shredder leaves, causing a massive explosion that rocks the entire military base.

Shredder arrives on the Technodrome to discover the power is back on, because Rocksteady and Bebop successfully brought back the power packs. As the story ends, April confirms the theft of the power packs on the news, much to the Turtles' chagrin. It's especially bad news to Michelangelo, who had sworn to eat his comic book if they ever powered up the Technodrome again. But when given a bottle of sauce, he follows up on his offer.



  • Research Development Plant
  • Turtles' Lair
  • Technodrome
  • Fort Charles
  • Missile Plant



Home media releases


  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Big Rip Off


  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Volume 6
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 3
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Classic Series Collection



  • As Shredder's Transport Module crashed through the door of the portal chamber at the end of the episode, the module's drill tip was colored pink. Plus, the damage sustained to the door disappears as it comes to a stop.
  • Bebop's shoes are colored white when Shredder contacts him at the plant and when he and Rocksteady grab hold of the hook to escape from the sticky oil.
  • Bebop's bandolier is colored brown instead of black in certain parts of the episode.
  • The door on Vernon's news van is colored red and the "6" logo is colored red in the middle.
  • When Leonardo dodges Rocksteady's dagger, the strapping in his sword is colored gray.
  • Both buttons on Shredder and Rocksteady's Com Links are colored yellow instead of being yellow and red.
  • Rocksteady's image in Shredder's Com-Link is animated differently to how he is supposed to look in this episode.
  • The Turtles eye masks and belt letters were missing when they walked through the doors of CY-CLOMP's chamber
  • The rear top tread of Shredder's module was missing as it surfaced at the Fort.
  • When Bebop and Rocksteady flee the power plant, the seats and control panel inside their Transport Module are missing.
  • After Bebop and Rocksteady crashed through the wall at the power plant the outside shot showed a broken window instead of a broken wall.
  • As Donatello and Michelangelo watch Bebop and Rocksteady crash through the wall, their shells are colored green.
  • The Transport Module is missing it's rear top tread and window as it surfaces at the missile plant.
  • When Raphael looks at himself in robot drone garb in the restroom mirror, he is missing a sai from his belt and his letter is not reversed in his reflection.
  • The Turtles weapons are smaller than normal when they are wearing their robot drone disguises.
  • The buttons of Rocksteady's Com-Link are both colored yellow when Shredder contacts him at the missile plant.
  • Michelangelo's right leg and the bottom of his left were not drawn in when Donatello spoke upon arriving the Fort.
  • At the beginning, when Bebop and Rocksteady escape in the module, the back of the module appears to be spinning.
  • When the Turtles and April ran after Bebop and Rocksteady after the fight at the beginning, Leonardo was seen with Donatello's bo staff.
  • Donatello is seen putting on the Killer Drone helmet twice.
  • When Bebop is seen on Shredder's monitor screen at the beginning, Bebop isn't seen with the com-link.
  • When the Technodrome is out of power, the monitor screen still shows the image of Bebop from the beginning.
  • When Bebop backs away from the Turtles after they gang up on him at the plant, some of the strapping on Donatello's bo is missing.
  • The top of Donatello's head flashes from purple and back when Rocksteady pounces on him.
  • The walls of Bebop and Rocksteady's module were colored dark gray instead of light gray when they were at the development plant and the inside of the door was colored white.
  • When Michelangelo is talking just before Shredder arrives at the Fort, Leonardo is seen with Donatello's colors.
  • The trylithium crystal constantly switches colors from blue to pink when the Turtles play "keep away" with it with Shredder.
  • When the two robot drones throw April inside the vault, their stomach area is colored green.
  • When the Turtles drive off from the Research Development Plant, the Turtle Van's "TURTLES" logo is misspelled as "TURTLE" and the teeth on the bumper are colored green.
  • When Krang is powering the Technodrome with the exercise bike his body is seen with his hands on the handles, but in the next shot his arms are waving in the air, by the third shot his arms are back on the handles.
  • In the far off shots of Vernon delivering his news report, he is seen with a hi-top fade haircut.


  • Final appearance of the Transport Modules until they would be used again in "Enter Mutagen Man".
  • Part one of a three part finale along with "The Big Break-In" and "The Big Blow Out".
  • Michelangelo mentions that Bebop and Rocksteady "go after after power in every episode"
  • Donatello breaks the 4th wall by saying "now don't you kids at home try this, we're trained professionals."


  • Bebop: [after he and Rocksteady return to the now-unpowered Technodrome] Hey, why are all da lights out?
  • Rocksteady: Maybe it's a surprise party. [Shredder enters, holding a candelabra] YEOW! It's Frankula!
  • Bebop: Uh, no way, it's Drackenstein!
  • Shredder: It's me, you idiots!
  • Rocksteady: Oh. Hehe, hi boss.

  • Rocksteady: Rocksteady here. Is that you, boss?
  • Shredder: No, it's the Tooth Fairy.
  • Bebop: Hey, lemmie talk to that crook! I left my little baby tusk under my pillow, and didn't get nothin'!

  • Shredder: Oh, I can't stand just sitting here in the dark, not knowing what's happening.
  • Krang: That's because you're usually sitting in the light, not knowing what's happening.

  • April: Gosh! I wonder what the explosion did to Shredder!!
  • Donatello: Nothing good I hope!

  • CY-CLOMP: [after Shredder give it his new orders] External signal detected, Password override accepted, New programming input, acknowledged!

  • Donatello: [after being run down by a robot drone] "Now I know how a highway feels!"



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